The high school basketball season feels like it happened in a different world given all that has happened to turn the sports world upside-down since then. The coronavirus was just starting to become a concern in the Palmetto State when the Whale Branch boys were among the last team’s standing who closed out the season in Columbia.
The pandemic deprived us of putting on the inaugural Lowco Basketball Showcase, but it can’t stop us from shining the spotlight on many of the players who were going to be featured. The LowcoSports editorial staff crunched the numbers and consulted with area coaches to compile a list of the top 30 high school boys basketball players in Beaufort and Jasper counties last season, and they make up the 2019-20 All-Lowco Boys Basketball Team presented by H2 Basketball.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Raymond, WB
Just two years ago, Whale Branch boys basketball was down. Way down. The Warriors won just seven games in 2017-18, and with five seniors graduating, it seemed like it might get worse before it got better. In a small school like Whale Branch, losing can kill a program. Kids don’t like to lose, and if a handful of contributors decide it’s not worth it anymore, the team is toast. Jim Raymond never let his players lose hope. The Warriors doubled their win total the next season, as a talented junior class emerged to propel Whale Branch to the second round of the playoffs. Raymond rallied the Warriors again this season, and they matched his sideline intensity and lived up to the school’s nickname. Only two of their seven defeats came by double digits, and the defensive lapses that sometimes plagued them early in the season were a distant memory by the time they rattled off eight straight victories to punch their ticket to Columbia for the Class 2A state championship game.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nick Pringle, WB | Sr.
This pick will come as no surprise to anyone who paid attention to high school hoops in the Lowco this season. The entire state was abuzz about Pringle after he sprouted to 6-8 seemingly overnight and dominated the AAU circuit with Team TMP last summer, and his commitment and eventual signing with Wofford put the spotlight on the Seabrook star going into his senior year. Pringle lived up to the hype, throwing down highlight-reel dunks all season long and fighting through regular double-teams to rack up 15.1 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He developed into an outstanding post defender, as well, leading the Lowco with 1.4 blocks per contest. Along with the rest of a tightly-bonded senior class, Pringle led Whale Branch to the Class 2A state championship game before the Warriors fell to Gray Collegiate.
ALL-LOWCO FIRST TEAM
|G||Tyrone Calloway, HHP | Sr.|
Catawba signee led the Lowco with 22.8 ppg and twice scored 38
|F||Harry Cash, MRHS | Sr.|
Preseason all-state pick put up 15.9 points and 7.4 boards to carry young Sharks
|F||Shawn Chisolm, WB | Sr.|
Undersized big averaged 15.7 points and seven rebounds and made opponents pay for focusing on Pringle
|G/F||Dawson Coleman, BA | Sr.|
Led team in points (13.8), rebounds (7.8), assists (2.3), steals (1.9), and blocks (1.3)
|G/F||Mauriq Singleton, RHHS | Sr.|
All-State wing led Jags in scoring (11.8) and added 4.6 boards
ALL-LOWCO SECOND TEAM
|G||Oliver Holmes, BHS | Jr.|
Eagles’ No. 2 scorer (11.9) also dished out team-high 2.9 assists
|G||Brandon Howard, RHHS | Soph.|
The engine that drove the Jags averaged 10.5 points with Lowco-best 4.7 assists
|F||Lee Kirkland, BLHS | Sr.|
Hulking presence in the paint averaged a double-double (11.2 ppg, 12.3 rpg)
|G/F||Tyler Rice, BLHS | Sr.|
Rangy wing can score from anywhere (12.6 ppg) and crash the boards (6.4 rpg)
|F||Sam Summa, HHIHS | Jr.|
Emerged as one of area’s best bigs, averaging a double-double (11.8 ppg, 10 rpg)
|Reco Anderson, JPII||Mark Knight, JPII|
|Rashard Baker, RHHS||Stone McDonald, HHP|
|Zack Black, THA||Gaston Moore, HHIHS|
|Jace Blackshear, HHCA||Zyrin Odom, BHS|
|Gavin Blocker, MRHS||Jamaad Rivers, BHS|
|Shaleaf Cherry, RHHS||Dean Seelbach, HHIHS|
|Eric Eastham, BLHS||Josh Smith, BP|
|Elijah Fess, BA||Amoni Waring, BCHS|
|Luke Foley, HHP||Shemar Williams, WB|
|Floyd Hargrove, HHCA|
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